$80.00 for two

Open windows and sidewalk seating in East village dining is really among the first hints that it’s summertime in the city. And while we’re still in the somewhat hazy, occasional-rainy-day transition phase, catching an Friday dinner at dusk in the district swept by a warm breeze is such an ideal way to welcome the season.

There’s plenty to choose from in the village, in fact, maybe even a bit too many small eateries peppered throughout the busy blocks. But in the mood for something more out of the norm, I dragged Jay to a shadowy French bistro — Affaire.

It’s by no means anything to write home about, but for your random French cravings or ad hoc East Village strolls, it offers somewhat of an exotic twist on things.

We started with some French classics. Jay the mussels in a heavy soup of butter, and I plump escargots drenched in buttery pesto sauce. Both were good by virtue of the butter, but what isn’t good with that much fat.

Rather, I was more impressed with my main course–a light frisee salad mixed with shreds of rabbit meat and topped with a poached egg. The eggs was just decently prepared, but the vinegary greens were really great for the warm weather. The rabbit meat, while somewhat of an acquired taste, didn’t bog the dish down.

Jay had a creamy lobster risotto, which was a nice degree of goopiness. Again, it was buttery like any good risotto should be, but nothing out of the ordinary. There was a notable lack of lobster taste and the portion was a bit incongruous given the decent first-course servings.

I wouldn’t put Affaire on my must-return list, but as I said, it’s a nice little spin on your typical East Village find.


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